Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday December 29 2006
Stoke will look to banish the Boxing Day blues on Saturday with the visit of Leeds to the Britannia.
Leeds, even with new manager Dennis Wise now in charge, have not yet managed to turn the tide of poor results that see them languishing in the second from bottom spot and they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.
Another 20,000+ crowd is expected with Leeds bringing around 2,000 fans.
The Potters have confirmed that Lee Hendrie is eligible to play and this will be his final match. But he may be subject to a late fitness test after picking up a knee injury in the Ipswich match last week and has not trained this week. Salif Diao and Darel Russell are both expected to play despite picking up recent knocks. A question mark hangs over the left back slot and Tony Pulis will have to decide whether to continue with Clint Hill or to give Carl Dickinson a start.
With Villa boss, Martin O'Neill showing no sign of offering Hendrie a starting position on his return, it seems as though he will be looking for pastures new next month or resigning himself to spending the rest of the season on the Villa bench. A good performance from fans, team and Hendrie himself may help to convince him to stay on, at least for the rest of this season.
Ugo Ehiogu (thigh), Matthew Kilgallon (ankle) and Robbie Blake (hamstring) are all rated doubtful.
A former Potters' loan player, he made 13 appearances for Stoke in 2001 and 2003. This season he has only had three starts in the League including the Boxing Day defeat against Sunderland.
Who can forget the 4-0 drubbing we gave Leeds up at Elland Road back in October? Many people expected Dennis Wise to have started to turn it around since he joined at the end of October, but things still look dicey at the Yorkshire club with four defeats and two draws in the last six games.
Mon 1st Jan: Burnley (away) kick-off: 3pm
Fri 5th Jan: Millwall - FA Cup (home) kick-off: 7.45pm
Sat 13th Jan: Wolves (home) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 20th Jan: Preston (away) kick-off: 3pm
Date:Friday December 29 2006
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